The TOP 10 Vegan Food Plans
Have you been thinking about going plant based and need to know where to start? There are so many vegan recipes that I want to try that sometimes I get overwhelmed by the choices. Having a food plan and shopping ahead before your busy week gets going will set you up for an easier time. And if you have family members to feed, you’ll be so glad to have a plan. Post it on the fridge and tell everyone to look there if they want to know “what’s for dinner!”
We found 10 vegan plans that we like for different reasons. I’ll review and outline what I loved about each plan and provide a link for the plan. Let’s get started!
Vegan Meal Plan for Beginners
Eating Well has a 7 day meal plan that is low-calorie (1500 calories per day) with options to eat a smaller amount of calories or more, depending on your goals.
The plan is whole-food centered and if you are a beginning cook (or just too busy to prepare a lot of food), you’ll like the small number of ingredients and easy cooking instructions. They incorporate a recipe that will prepare 4 lunches at a time and also the one-pot dinner concept that makes life for busy people so much easier!
They have some great videos that show how to prepare the recipes and one of the recipe videos gave some very valuable information about how beneficial a vegan diet is!
Since they use many of the same ingredients and keep it very simple, the overall cost would be pretty affordable. They use quinoa, which can often be found in grocery stores that have a bulk section so you can buy what you want instead of a huge amount.
The recipes are really tasty and have ingredients that will keep you full between meals. A couple of my favorites are Beefless Vegan Tacos and Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry. Easy to prepare and simply delicious!
*Note: one recipe calls for parmesan cheese. There are several delicious vegan parmesan options to buy or you can make your own with this recipe: vegan parmesan. You can adjust measurements and make a smaller amount if you don’t plan to use parmesan after this recipe. It’s a delicious add-in to all kinds of salads, bowls, pasta, soup, etc. if you have some left over.
PETA’s Two-Week Vegan Meal Plan
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) offers a 2 week meal plan.
This is a fun meal plan, especially if you have the time to devote to food prep and cooking. There are both a cooked lasagna recipe and a raw lasagna recipe (both big favorites at my house!) PETA uses some fake meat products in creative and fun ways.
I would say this 2 week plan is a little more on the pricey side but the recipes are so varied and will give you a chance to try some new and creative recipes.
A couple of my favorites are the Buddhist Chef’s General Tso’s Tofu and, if you can believe it…a cheezy stuffed crust tomato basil pizza!
They do include some videos if you enjoy watching those before you try a recipe.
This plan has quite a bit of preparation, but don’t let that deter you from trying it because the recipes are great! I’ve been using some of these PETA recipes for years. You can always pick and choose recipes that look good to you so you don’t blow your budget.
Solidarity Food Plan
The Waking Justice Solidarity Food Plan is a 28 day plan that I put together in an effort to provide a guide that is economical but still healthy and tasty. I know people who are going through hard times right now and sometimes people think that a healthy, vegan diet is out of reach. That’s not true and I really wanted to showcase that in this plan. It’s a free plan, with recipes, and a grocery list. The ingredients list includes many organic items, even while still staying on a tight budget.
Having been vegan for almost 3 decades and also raising 2 vegan daughters, I know a few things about eating vegan on a budget. I’ve seen other plans out there that have been able to outline 3 meals a day even when on public assistance, but this is the first plan (to my knowledge) that has 3 meals plus 2 snacks each day.
The meals are high in protein, so even people who exercise a great deal can meet their needs. It’s also a great plan for someone who is transitioning from a meat centered diet to a plant based diet, due to the protein. We know that meat and dairy have addictive qualities that keep us wanting more, even when we know it’s not good for us. Sticking to a food plan that is high in clean plant protein will alleviate some of that suffering experienced during the transition.
The plan has plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and the recipes incorporate spices and recipes from lots of different cultures. By the end of the plan, you’ll have a spice cabinet with 18 spices and you’ll learn to cook beans, use them in many recipes, and also how to structure your food prep so that you can do some work on your off day and get prepared for a busy week ahead.
Favorite recipes include a Lentil Shepherds Pie and one of the best meals of all time, Red Beans & Rice.
Check it out. It’s free and I think you’ll enjoy the recipes.
The McDougall Plan
The McDougall Plan was created by Dr. John McDougall many years ago and it was the first vegan meal plan I tried back in the mid 90s. It is very healthy and was designed by Dr. McDougall in 1990. You’ll want to purchase this book. It’s called The McDougal Plan. You can also find recipes on his website, but to follow this plan you really need the book. The book has so much good info that you will want this in your library. I’ve purchased numerous copies because I keep giving it away to people.
You’ll learn how to make your own rice milk, you’ll find out that eating brown rice with fruit for breakfast is really yummy and you can practice replacing salt with spices that add so much flavor, you’ll start adjusting and eating less salt, which is a good thing!
It’s a relatively low cost plan. Once you go through the detox phase and your body adjusts to eating healthy foods, your palette will also adjust and you’ll start to crave healthier foods. You’ll also feel more full between meals once you don't eat foods that have been engineered to make you crave more and more all the time. This plan is designed to improve your health and you’ll probably naturally start to lose some weight if that is your goal.
The American Vegetable Stew and the Curried Tofu Dip are two of my favorites!
Dr. McDougall has had a long career treating people with his meal plan with great success. The McDougall Plan will help you reset your eating habits and teach you how to achieve better health by cutting out the bad stuff. As Dr. McDougall says, “It’s the food!”
Dr. McDougall and his wife Mary, started a wellness “college” and offer online sessions to help you transition away from a meat and dairy centered diet.
The Vegan Kickstart
PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine)
Everybody lives on their phones today. In fact, many people don’t have a computer because they can do everything on their phone. If you’re one of those people, the PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) 21 Day Program might be a good fit for you. They developed an app to use if you want to participate in the program. You can register here for their program. You choose your start date, so it is totally flexible.
They provide a grocery list that you can adapt to what you have on hand and what you need to buy.
My favorite recipes to try are the Breakfast Sweet Potato Pudding, the Brownie Batter Hummus and the Butternut Breakfast Tacos. All very unique with fun ingredients that will help you branch out and try new things.
Since this plan was put together under the supervision of vegan doctors, you know it’s going to be super healthy and healing.
African American Vegan Starter Guide
African American Vegan Starter Guide was authored by Tracye McQuirter. You may have heard about Tracye’s campaign called 10 Million Black Vegan Women. She is a woman on a mission and is changing so many lives with her campaign!
This guide is not exactly a meal plan, but you can definitely use it to create your own plan. I included this one not only because there are some great recipes, but the info in their free guide is well thought out and includes so many details that everyone should know.
In this guide, you’ll find helpful info such as how to go vegan, how to eat healthy on a budget, info about animal rights, how to handle a family reunion, key nutrition facts, there’s even info about pregnancy and how to raise vegan children. I love it because they kept it concise and it’s easy to read and absorb new and important information.
Since there’s a great section about how to eat on a budget, you can definitely use this guide, eat delicious meals and do it on a strict budget.
Hearts of Baltimore Crab Cakes and the Cashew Ginger Stir-Fry are 2 of my favorites in this guide.
Forks Meal Planner
Have you watched the movie, Forks Over Knives? This documentary was inspired by The China Study and brought so much great information to light about following a whole food plant based diet. The movie inspired a meal planning service and the Forks Over Knives plan was born. You can sign up for a 14 day free trial, then you pay a fee starting at $9.99 per month. They have a mobile recipe app to help you navigate their plan. So if you’re a person who lives on their phone and you don’t mind paying for using their help, this might be a great option for you! There are videos and lots of tips.
I signed up for the 2 week free trial and found that the recipes (at least the ones I was able to see and try) are relatively simple to make, use mostly whole food ingredients and are delicious! Some of my favorites were: Peanut Noodles with Vegetables, Kale Caesar Salad and Quinoa Green Goddess Bowl.
10 Day Food RX Jumpstart Course
A few years back, my husband and I got on a raw food kick. We tried out all kinds of raw food vegan recipes. Trust me when I say, there are some delicious and highly nutritious options. There are even restaurants devoted to only raw vegan options!
If you’re wondering what it means to follow a raw vegan food plan, it adds the concept of raw foodism to the whole food plant based principle, and you eat foods that are completely raw or heated at temperatures below 104–118°. If you’re trying this at home, having a dehydrator is a big help. A raw vegan diet is generally rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains and legumes. It also tends to be naturally low in processed foods.
This leads to our next food plan on the list. Dr. Baxter Montgomery, an MD who specializes in cardiovascular disease and internal medicine, treats patients at his clinic and wellness center in Houston, TX. Dr. Montgomery has 32 years of experience and has developed the 10 Day Health Turnaround.
You can sign up for his 10 day Food RX Jumpstart Course. The course is free but you do need to be ready to put some time in for food preparation, watching videos and really educating yourself about how our meat and dairy centered lifestyle has made so many of us sick, forced to take medication or endure expensive, painful procedures just to stay alive. When you weigh all of the horrific procedures and medications many people endure, changing your eating habits doesn’t seem so extreme, does it?
I encourage you to sign up for the mini boot camp and watch the videos and learn about this healthy way of eating. Even if you don’t stay completely raw, you’ll benefit from Dr. Montgomery’s program and inspiring videos, learn a great deal about how - what we consume plays a key role when it comes to health outcomes.
Some of my favorite recipes in this program are the Pesto Pasta (made with spiralized summer squash and zucchini) and the Lentil Cups (made with sprouted lentils). I also love the Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps. Mushrooms are so yummy after resting in a tasty marinade. There is absolutely nothing missed by not cooking them.
Veganuary’s Budget Meal Plan
Beans on Toast or Sausage Rolls, anyone? Have you ever wondered what British people eat? The group that brought us the delightful Veganuary campaign that logged more than 620,000 people in 2022 to take their pledge, have developed a 7 day meal plan. Despite the name, they help people year-round and they have a great meal plan and recipe guide. Here are some highlights from their plan:
You will receive an email every day with tips and recipes. They also incorporate some great information that you might need if you’re around people who are questioning your new food choices. You’ll be armed with new facts that will help you explain why you are trying to go vegan. So if you like to feel that you are being shepherded along, you will love this plan. You won’t feel so alone in your journey.
I really like this plan due to the supportive nature of it. Don’t wait till January to get started!
This Savory Vegan’s Weekly Meal Plan
This Savory Vegan is one of my go-to sites for new and creative dinner ideas. I signed up for Rene Barker’s Weekly Meal Plan ages ago. Every Sunday I receive her email with 5 delicious looking recipes. I don’t ever follow it exactly, but I incorporate her recipes as they sound good to me. They are not overly complex, but if you are a new cook or even a person who is in a rut, you will find new techniques (pumpkin ravioli using wonton wrappers!) and likely will learn about new spices if you haven’t been very adventurous in the past. Rene is a big spice lover (me too!) so I really enjoy her creations. They are beautiful and always delicious. Eating a beige diet is boring and also not healthy, so incorporating lots of colorful veggies is so beneficial and I feel like Rene works hard at that.
Rene’s plan is free and will give you 5 dinner recipes each Sunday. This might be something you start using after you get good habits established for breakfast and lunch. Even if you never use her recipes, you will likely be inspired by the beautiful photos that show how delicious vegan food can be!
When Rene releases a new recipe, you’ll receive an email with the details. She is definitely one of my favorites.
Vegan newsletters to sign up for:
Holy Cow Vegan. Learn how to cook Indian food with Vashali. She will introduce you to new spices and wonderful Indian cuisine. She also veganizes other types of food. I have tried tons of her recipes and they never disappoint.
Peaceful Dumpling. Food, fitness, wellness, life online magazine.
Veg News is a great resource for recipes and vegan living.
The Beet where you’ll find recipes, health info, product reviews and other great plant-based info.
Vegconomist is a vegan business online magazine where you’ll be able to read all about the business world and what entrepreneurial vegans are up to.